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Silent Lies: Chapter 8


I wake to the soothing sound of the shower drifting from the bathroom, but I didn’t need to hear it to know that Drago is no longer in bed with me. His warmth is absent, and I miss the sense of peace I’ve gotten used to over the past ten nights.

After my first endeavor to sleep in a separate room only to find myself back in Drago’s bed in the morning, I attempted that stunt twice more. Each time, my husband carried me to his room. I stopped trying to “escape” after that because I like sleeping with his body spooning mine more than I care to admit. And that’s all we’ve done so far. Sleep.

Other than holding me, he hasn’t touched me. I wish he would. A few times when I woke while he was still in bed, I pretended to still be asleep, enjoying being pressed to his hard chest. His chest wasn’t the only thing that was hard, and it freaked me out a little. I’ve never had sex before.

I’ve had a couple of boyfriends, but we never went further than first base. It’s not as if I was saving myself for marriage, and I’m not scared of the intimate act itself. It’s just . . . being attracted to someone physically has never been enough for me. An alluring body that had no impact on me mentally held as much of my interest as a bedazzled paperweight. Pretty to look at, but not essential in my life.

Whenever a guy pressed to have sex, I would break up with him. I just couldn’t handle the idea of getting that close to anyone. I had my reasons. Usually, when relationships reach a certain level, people tend to believe they’re entitled to “more.” More talking. More explanations. More of you. But the pieces of me were always locked away. Always hidden, especially from whatever man I happened to have been seeing. What if I did open up, letting him glimpse what hides behind my carefully composed facade, and he decided to leave? Or even worse, he stayed, and I developed feelings for him. No.

No feelings meant no hurt if anything bad happened. The pain and heartbreak weren’t worth the carnal experience.

My sister knows this about me. She’s always known me. Asya once said that I need a man who can seduce my brain before I would allow him to fuck my pussy. Whatever the hell that means.

I roll over onto my back and stare at the ceiling, contemplating how lonely this enormous bed feels when Drago isn’t here with me. What would he say if I asked him to come back to bed after the shower so we could cuddle a bit longer? He would either laugh or think I’m trying to tempt him to have sex with me. If he acted like he wanted to, I would have jumped all over him, consequences be damned. But it’s not sex I’m after. I have this strange urge to just be close to him, to bury my face into his neck and absorb his scent. It’s stupid, I know, but I can’t help it.

The water shuts off, and two minutes later, my husband comes out of the bathroom wearing only a towel around his waist.

I pretend I’m still asleep and watch him from beneath half-lowered lids. He has one of the most beautiful male bodies I’ve ever set eyes on. It’s not like I’ve seen many, but still. Wide shoulders and heavily muscled arms. Hard, chiseled abs that I could probably bounce a quarter off if I threw one. He walks toward the closet on the other side of the room, and I move my eyes to his back, observing the burn scars that cover the left side of his body. They are mostly concentrated across his shoulder blades and just below, but there are some on his forearm and the back of his hand. I noticed those only recently because they’re covered with tattoos.

I googled burns the other day and, based on everything I read and the images that showed the different stages of healing, I concluded that Drago has had skin grafts. Was he caught in a fire when he was younger?

Drago removes the towel, and I snap my eyes closed. An instinctive act for someone who’s not used to seeing a naked man. But my curiosity gets the better of me, and I lift my lids to ogle his ass. When he reaches to take something off the shelf, I glimpse his cock and squeeze my eyes shut again. Should it be that huge? I imagine his big cock sliding into me, wondering how it would feel, and bite the inside of my cheek to stifle a sigh.

The echo of approaching steps reaches me a split second before the duvet flies off my body.

“Get up.”

I keep my eyes closed, pretending to still be asleep.

“I know you’re awake.”

Crap. Does he know I was gaping at his cock? I crack my lids open and find Drago standing at the foot of the bed. He’s wearing black sweatpants and a red hoodie.

“What time is it?” I ask. I missed breakfast yesterday and had to go to the kitchen to ask Keva for some leftovers. The meal schedule they have here doesn’t work that well with my biorhythm. Breakfast at eight? That’s tyranny.

“Six thirty. You’re going for a run with me.”

“I don’t think so.” I snort and bury my face into the pillow.

A hand wraps around my ankle, pulling me toward the edge. I yelp and try to push him off with my free leg. Drago bends, picks me up, and carries me to the en suite. I’m kicking my feet in front of me while squeezing his forearms, trying in vain to free myself. The moment he sets me down inside the bathroom, I shove at his chest.

“I’m not one of your subordinates, Drago!” I jab him again. “You can’t order me around.”

“You’re not my subordinate.” He takes a step forward, making me take two steps back. “But you belong to me. And I won’t let you go around as pale as a sheet of paper. We’re going for a run, and we’re not coming back until you get some color in your face.”

“I’m not your property,” I meant to say it with a grin, but it ends up being a semi-sneer through my teeth. For some reason, my “nice persona” filter doesn’t seem to work that well when he’s around.

Drago looks down at my hand, which is still pressed against his chest. “That says you are.”

I follow his gaze and see it focused on my wedding ring.

“Oh, really? I thought it meant we signed a marriage certificate, not a bill of sale. But I guess that misunderstanding is easy to correct.” I lift my hand in front of his face, planning to take off the wedding band. The moment he registers my intention, he grabs my chin and tilts my head up.

“Feel free to take it off if you want,” he says casually, then leans until our faces are at the same level. “But know one thing, mila moya. Any man who sets his eyes on you while you’re not wearing the wedding ring is going to die.”

I roll my eyes. Yeah, sure. He probably forgot that I was present when he got yelled at by Keva and did nothing about it. He’s not going to kill anyone, especially for just looking at me. I guess I was lucky to have ended up with Drago rather than someone who does go around killing people. It’s a risk with arranged marriages. I could have wedded someone like the priest guy. It’s obvious that man handles the offing of the people for Drago, or Adam wouldn’t have made that comment in the kitchen when we saw the news report.

“I’ll be waiting for you outside.” He releases my chin and leaves.

I shake my head and grab a toothbrush. There’s no way I’m going for a run with him. Even if I didn’t hate running—which I do—I don’t have anything suitable to wear. But maybe I could take a stroll around the property and check the number of guards. Ajello has called me twice since I got here, but I couldn’t answer either time because there were people around. I did send him a text saying I haven’t learned anything important as of yet, but I will have to call him soon to tell him something.

The mirror above the sink is still foggy from Drago’s shower. I swipe my palm over it and stare at my reflection. It doesn’t feel right to gather info about my husband and pass it to the don, but I don’t have a choice. Family always comes first, that’s the Cosa Nostra motto.


* * *


I’m descending the stairs when an idea pops into my mind. Smirking, I take off the wedding ring and stuff it into the pocket of my pink jeans. The front door is open, and Keva is at the threshold, signing some paperwork for a man in overalls with the name of the local plumbing company above his left breast pocket. I pass by them and head toward Drago, who’s waiting in the middle of the driveway, fiddling with his phone. His thumbs move rapidly as he types. That’s got to be a lengthy text or an email. Wouldn’t it be easier to just call the person?

When I come to a stop in front of him, he puts the phone away and scans me from head to toe. “Are you serious?”

“Why?” I raise an eyebrow.

“High-heeled boots. And . . . what is that?” He gestures at my chest.

“An oversized sweater dress,” I say. It’s one of my favorites, yellow with a pattern of big hearts in the same pink shade as my jeans.

I usually pick my outfits based on how I feel. When my mood is low, I tend to go for colorful, silly combinations. Recently, however, I’ve been choosing my clothes solely because I enjoy Drago’s reactions. There’s something utterly cute about his grumbling every time he sees my attire for the day. One thing that I’ve found really surprising, not once has he said “You can’t go in public wearing that.” Like some of my friends and ex-boyfriends often have. He typically gripes a little or just looks at the heavens and shakes his head, but that’s all. He seems to be perfectly fine with me going around in what he calls “chicken jacket” or “yellow eyesore.” Some of my outfits are ridiculous, but Drago has never said that I look ridiculous in them.

“Three of you can fit in that thing, Sienna. Go change into something comfy. And put on your sneakers.”

“This is comfy. And I don’t own sneakers.”

“You don’t own sneakers.”

“Nope. Only heels. Sorry.” I grin.

Isuse,” he mumbles and looks around, zeroing in on Jovan coming out of the garage. “Jovan, keys,” he barks.

Jovan looks momentarily confused, but then fishes a set of car keys out of his pocket and throws them to Drago.

“Are we going for a ride instead?” I ask.

“We’re going to buy you fucking sneakers, Sienna.”

We’re walking toward Jovan’s car when the plumber passes us. He throws a look at me, then proceeds toward his van. I reach for the passenger door when Drago’s fingers wrap around my wrist.

“You’re not wearing your wedding ring,” he says.

“You said you don’t mind.”

“I don’t,” he declares, closes the door after me, and rounds the hood. I expect him to get behind the wheel, but he strides across the driveway toward the van where the plumber is packing away his tools. What’s he doing? Maybe he wants to ask the guy someth— Jesus fuck!

I dash out of the car and run to the van where my husband is holding the plumber up against the side of the vehicle. Drago’s hand is wrapped around the guy’s throat and, going by how red in the face the poor man is, he’s choking him.

“Drago!” I grab the back of his hoodie and try to pull him off. The guy looks like he’s going to pass out any moment. “Hey!”

Drago looks over his shoulder and pins me with his gaze. “What?”

What, what? Are you crazy? Release the guy!”

“We had a deal, Sienna. No wedding ring means men who look at you die.” He turns back toward the plumber and resumes strangling the life out of him.

Oh my God, he was serious! I’ve never seen him be aggressive to anyone. Despite his grumpiness and commanding presence, I don’t think that’s his nature. Letting go of his hoodie, I check my pockets hysterically. Where, where . . .? Yes! I pull out the wedding ring from my pocket and slide it onto my finger.

“Here!” I lift my hand and wave it in front of Drago’s face, trying to contain my panic. “It’s back on. Please, stop. Please, please, please.”

He looks at my hand, then down at me. “Will it stay on?”

“I’ll glue it onto my finger if you want. Just please don’t kill the plumber.”

Drago’s eyes shift back to the hand I’m still holding up in the air, and he releases his grip on the guy’s neck. “All right. Let’s go buy those sneakers.”




Sienna is standing in front of the big mirror at the local supermarket, looking at her reflection. It’s the only place open this early in the morning that’ll have what we’re after. I wasn’t sure how she’d react about me taking her here instead of her usual shopping grounds, but she didn’t even bat an eye—walked in as if she’s been doing it every week of her life. It was amusing how excited she got, although she tried to hide it, over finding apparel being sold just a few aisles away from the fresh produce. She insisted we needed to get a box of mandarin oranges as well, and now I get to haul it around while Sienna tries on various athletic clothes.

The outfit she’s put on consists of a pale-blue sweatshirt and matching sweatpants, paired with white leather running shoes. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anyone look so miserable as Sienna does now while she assesses her getup. She’s muttering something, so I move my eyes to her lips.

“. . . not even a real color. Stupid washed-out blue. It’s depressing.”

“The color is making you depressed?”

“Yes. Very.”

I look around and spot the store attendant standing by a rack of jackets. Leaving my wife to her mumbling, I approach the woman.

“I need you to find me the most ridiculous-looking tracksuit you have in store.”

The sales lady’s eyes widen in surprise. “The most . . . ridiculous?”

“Yes. Something no sane woman would buy. Screaming fuchsia. Neon-orange. An idiotic animal pattern in a god-awful color. Or something that glitters. Shoes, as well.”

“Oh . . . I’ll see what I can do.”

The attendant rushes away and comes back five minutes later carrying a matching sweatshirt and pants. The set is vibrant lavender and has a wide yellow stripe running along the outside of the pant legs and sleeves. There’s no glitter, but the tie string on the pants is made of satin, and it’s in the same yellow shade as the stripes.

“That should do it.” I nod. “Sneakers?”

She lifts a pair of running shoes. The sole is white, but they do have a colorful pattern on the sides. I take one out of the clerk’s raised hand to have a better look. It’s a bunch of small multicolored rabbits.

“Perfect.” I gather the clothes and the other shoe and return to my wife.

The instant Sienna sees the stuff I’m carrying, she runs over to grab the lot and dashes into the nearby changing room. I lean my shoulder on the sidewall of the fitting room across from Sienna’s and watch her feet through the gap between the floor and the door. She is hopping around on one leg while putting on the sweatpants. A small smile pulls at my lips. I don’t remember the last time I was so amused by someone. For years, work has been the only exhilarating thing filling my otherwise mundane days. Not anymore. Now, the little hellion with crazy clothes and mischievous grin has been occupying most of my attention.

Fascinated. Yes, I’m completely fascinated with my sparkling wife, and I’ll be damned if I know why. She’s too young, eccentric, constantly smiling, and sunny to a disturbing level. The thing is, I don’t like cheerful people. No one can be happy all the time. If they act that way, they are either stupid or pretending. And if there is one thing I’m one hundred percent certain about, it’s that my sparkling little wife is far from stupid. Even if the way she acts can easily convince people otherwise. But it’s they who are the fools for not seeing what is so clear to me.

The door creaks open to reveal Sienna in that hideous lavender outfit. I don’t understand how she can look so beautiful wearing such idiotic clothes. She grins at me, lifts her phone, and snaps a selfie while pursing her lips at the camera.

“Are you posting that to social media?” I ask.

“Of course. Why?”

“No reason.” As soon as I get back home, I’m instructing Mirko to do something with her social media accounts. He hacks government sites on a regular basis, so he must know some way to hide Sienna’s images. No one is allowed to salivate over my wife’s pictures except me. Yesterday morning, while Sienna was still sleeping, I snapped a quick shot of her in bed with my phone. I’m still not sure why I did that.

On our way to the checkout area, we pass through the home decor section where two long shelves are stacked with different trinkets—dry flowers, glass figurines, photo frames, and other similar items. Sienna stops in front of a bowl filled with marbles in various colors. An excited squeal leaves her lips as she stares at the glass and runs her fingers through the glossy orbs. It’s been a long time since I was as thrilled about anything as she seems to be over a handful of stupid glass pearls. I swear, this woman must have been a crow in her past life to be so captivated by shiny things. It’s impossible not to be allured by her. A strange warm feeling spreads through my chest as I watch my wife being so happy, and I yearn to see more of that pure joy.

Even though I know she’s been lying to me from the start.


* * *


“We’ll take the path among the trees,” I say as I close the car door after Sienna. “Let’s go.”

“So, you were serious about jogging?”

“I don’t joke often, Sienna. Come on. Go ahead of me. Just follow the path.”

“Why don’t you lead?”

“I want you in my sight so you can’t sneak back inside when I’m not looking.”

Her shoulders sag, but she turns away and starts jogging toward the trees. I follow a few feet behind, matching her pace while ogling her sweet ass in those snug sports pants. That’s one of the reasons why I insisted she goes first down the trail. The other, I wouldn’t notice if she says something behind me.

As we are passing by a stretch of lawn where Beli is raking the leaves, Sienna stops and says something to him. Someone should have warned her that the old son of a bitch is antisocial and never talks to people. I linger a few steps to the side, making it look like I’m stretching my hamstrings as I watch the exchange between my wife and the gardener. I have never witnessed him crack a smile, so seeing him burst out laughing and hold up a thumb is incredible. Sienna waves at him and carries on.

“What did she say?” I ask when I approach the old grump.

“Your wife found me a new spot.”

“A spot? For what?”

“For my lilies.” He smiles and resumes raking the leaves.

I shake my head and continue on my run to catch up with my ray-of-sunshine wife, who is jogging in place thirty yards down the path. She’s chatting with Relja. Who should be on the guard shift right now and doing his rounds, damn it! He sees me coming, turns on his heel, and rushes off in the direction of the gate.

“Don’t distract my men while they’re on duty.”

Sienna tilts her head up and narrows her eyes at me. “You’re really grumpy, you know. It’s kind of . . . cute.”

“I’ve been called a lot of names, Sienna”—I wrap my arm around her waist and pull her into my body—“but cute is not one of them.”

I can feel her every breath as her chest rises and falls. Her lips are slightly parted, taunting me. I don’t have much restraint left, and the need to make her mine is driving me crazy. Even despite her constant lies since the moment she set foot in my house, and probably before that, too. I let a spy into my home, but the most fucked up thing about this whole situation is—I don’t regret it.

I wonder . . . Where did she learn Serbian?

Though I’ve been closely observing her from the moment she arrived, it took me more than a week to realize that little fact. It happened by accident during dinner a few days ago. Everyone was laughing at a joke while Keva was running around placing bowls of food on the table. Milo, one of the soldiers, stretched out his hand, asking someone to pass him the mashed potatoes. My wife smiled and handed him the bowl while still giggling over the punch line. And Milo doesn’t speak English. I don’t think she even noticed her mistake.

Ajello obviously knew Sienna could speak Serbian or he wouldn’t have picked her. That scheming son of a bitch. No wonder half of the criminal underworld wants him dead. The question is, what should I do with my sparkling little Cosa Nostra spy? Should I kill her quickly, or should I make her suffer?

As I look at her, I realize one extremely inconvenient thing. Even if I wanted to, I wouldn’t be able to hurt her. And worse, the mere idea of anyone putting a finger on my wife elicits a murderous rage within me.

“Let’s head back.” I release her from my embrace and begin walking, suddenly angry as hell.

But it’s not her I’m angry at. I’m furious with myself. Because even knowing that my wife is a spy, she’s all I can think about. All the. Damn. Time.

I’ve been spending the bulk of my days away from home so I don’t succumb to the urge to put her over my shoulder, take her to the bedroom, and fuck her senseless. I want to keep my distance until I find out what Ajello’s game is, but I can’t. For over a week now I’ve been living for the moment when I can climb into bed next to her and hold her close. And every morning, I wake up with such an epic hard-on that I spend thirty minutes in the shower trying to find release while thinking about the little liar sleeping soundly in my bed. This morning, I had to jerk off twice. After my initial round, I left the bathroom only to see her lying there with her top ridden up to under her breasts and ass cheeks peeking out from the green sleeping shorts. I got hard instantly. So, I headed back inside the shower and imagined slamming my cock into her from behind until I came all over the tiled wall.

Sienna follows me as we head back toward the house, and I keep throwing glances over my shoulder. Her high ponytail swings left and right as she hops over the small rain puddles along the path, tempting me to pull her close and run my fingers through the brown strands. Iliya steps through the front door just as we get there, and Sienna rushes toward him, thrusting her phone in his hands. She’s babbling something as she stands before him, but I can’t understand what she’s saying or read her lips. With a wide smile, she runs off to stand next to the fountain and strikes a pose. I pin Iliya with my glare.

“She wants me to take a few shots of her,” he mouths. “For her social media.”

I instantly snatch the phone out of his hand.

“You’re free to go,” I snap and turn toward my wife. “If you need anyone to take a photo of you, it’s going to be me, Sienna.”

“You were sulking, giving off these really grouchy vibes. It seems to be your preferred mood and I didn’t want to interfere.”

I narrow my eyes. If I catch any of my men taking photos of her, they’ll get an up close and personal experience with my grouchy mood. “Get in position,” I grumble.

Sienna leans toward the water, extending her hand to touch the stream. The stretchy fabric of her lavender pants accentuates the perfect curve of her pretty round ass.


“Thank you,” she chirps as she lifts the phone from my hand. “I’m uploading it right away. Love that fountain! The posts of me in front of it always get at least a few thousand likes.”

Thousands? I fume as I watch her dance into the house, then head straight to Mirko’s office. Fucking thousands!



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